With only three games left in the regular season the Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs are looking forward to the post-season, but know they need to stay focused on closing out the regular. The club made sure to close some old wounds with a big win on home ice Friday against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons and then on the road Sunday for an afternoon win against the Camrose Kodiaks.
Pontiacs’ top point-getter, Bobby McMann put in two goals Friday night with both goals’ assists going to Brandon Whistle and Kyler Hehn in the first period. Fort Mac put their sole goal of the game in during the first 20 from Will Conley with the assists going to Brett Edwards and Taner Miller. Erik Donald put in a goal on the power play, 7:45 in the second with assists from Alden Dupuis and Derek Brown. The final goal of the game would come before the end of 40 minute of play from defenseman Carter Rhine; Chasetan Braid picked up a point with an assist on the goal that would make the game a 4-1 win for the Pontiacs.
Braider made a nice play, driving their defender up the wall. He left the puck for me and set it up. I just walked in and put it on net. I guess I picked the corner pretty well! – Carter Rhine #7 Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs
“I liked the positive energy on the bench,” Rhine says it was infectious, “this week, Coach Rick [Swan] put on a Navy Seal’s video, it was about positive energy.” Coach Swan is known for his pre-game inspirational videos and pep talks, this was one of them, explains Rhine. “I think just not letting people get you down. Just saying, ‘stop’. I like that and that was the mood on the bench and I think it got other guys going and it definitely got me going. It was great to have all the guys positive out there!”
Heading into Sunday’s game, the squad was feeling positive and it showed on the ice, as the Pontiacs opened up the scoring with two goals in the first. Brinson Pasichnuk put in the first goal from Zach Mills and Steenn Pasichnuk and Ryan Piche made it 2-0, from Josh Borynec and Charlie Gawlicki. B. Pasichnuk put in the only goal in the second, with assists going to Gawlicki and Erik Donald. The Kodiaks attempted a comeback with two goals in the third, but the Pontiacs secured the win with an unassisted shorty from Bobby McMann.
“We played really good, we came in prepared,” Brinson Pasichnuk explains it was a little different without Head Coach Rick Swan on the bench. “Everyone sacrificed their bodies for the win, even when the man in charge wasn’t there. I was really proud of the boys.” Coach Swan was attending a funeral for a good friend of his and unable to make the game. Assistant Coach Larry Draper stepped up and lead the team well to a win.
The team will play out their final regular season home game on Friday against Fort McMurray, before heading on the road to close the regular season. WIN tickets to Friday’s matchup on LCN.